Friday, August 30, 2013

Faith Rest at Our Gates

"A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water. Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise." Jeremiah 17:12-14 ESV

Jeremiah had forsaken a works program with God. He had learned something that was against the flow of The culture he was living in. That receiving grace is the only way that God is happy with and the only way to experience life with God.

"Thus said the LORD to me: 'Go and stand in the People's Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, and say: 'Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. Thus says the LORD: Take care for the sake of your lives, and do not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck, that they might not hear and receive instruction.' " Jeremiah 17:19-23 ESV

The Sabbath is a picture for us. The Sabbath was never given to the nations or gentiles. It was given to Israel to be a picture of faith rest. A day with no labor set aside where they could trust God without work.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" 2 Timothy 3:16 KJV

Gates represent several things in the scripture. They are the place or commercial traffic. They are where public opinion is expressed. People are working when they pass there and wear their public working personas as they pass through. It is also the place where the world outside interfaces with the culture of what is inside.

The city can reflect an individual person. The gates are where the person meets the outside world.

This city would not enter into spiritual rest. Activity at it's gates was proof of this. There was no rest in God's provision.

" 'But if you listen to me, declares the LORD, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings and princes who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city shall be inhabited forever. And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD. But if you do not listen to me, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.' " Jeremiah 17:24-27 ESV

This is a good lesson for us. Receiving grace and living in faith rest is a protection for us. It is a place where the exchanged life can take place. Rest is the place where God works unhindered and we are quiet enough to hear Him and then follow His leading.

"Then the word of the LORD came to me: 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.' " Jeremiah 18:5-10 ESV

God deals differently with individuals then He does with nations. But the principles holds as true.

It is curious how Christ would not deny His royalty but deferred laying claim to His royalty previous to the cross. Christ distanced Himself from corporate, governmental and ideological affiliations. Evil was not paid for on the cross. Nor were ideologies that represent governmental authority. Christ refused to die as a representative of an Earthly government... even of Israel. He claims His Kingship later.

God will hold 'governments' accountable for policy. Specifically policies that affect His reputation and people. Evil is condemned as a kingdom and as a system.

The judgment of the nations (see Matthew 25, Joel 3, Isaiah 34) that will happen one day in the future will be a righting of many wrongs. Kings will shut their mouths at God's clear righteous verdicts regarding their actions.

Corporate decision making needs to be redemptive also but governments wield the sword of justice that protects the individual and if that judgment yields to compromise for less than Christ-like causes there will be a day of accountability for that nation and a withholding of blessing in history.

Christ's government when He establishes His kingdom on the Earth will be a perfectly just one. Just as governments and organizations should continue to strive for excellent in enforcing laws and policies that protect the individual now in this age.

God deals with systems differently then He deals with people. Personal sin is personal and individual with God. It is a problem between two people David understood this and said to God,

"Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest." Psalms 51:4 KJV

Because of Christ's payment on the cross God says to us,

"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5b KJV

The personal debt has been paid but we have the same decisions to make as individuals regarding our gates. Will faith rest and trust in God be our public policy or will we bear our burdens ourselves?

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